Series: Graceling #3
Author: Kristin Cashore
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 1, 2012 by Dial
Source: Gift. Thanks, Mom!
Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.My Review: First of all, can I just say how impressed I am with Kristin Cashore? She is such an inspiration for me in my own writing and reading her works is an experience. I open the pages and it feels as though I have been transported to another world. Everything is so incredibly vivid. Not to mention, she weaves all of the worlds that have been in the three books of this series together flawlessly. The way everything tied together - especially in this book - was applaud-worthy.
But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.
Whatever that past holds.
Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart . . .
It never fails to amaze me how easily I fall in love with the characters in these books. Even though they are all very real and very flawed, they easily secure places in my heart. Bitterblue, just like Katsa and Fire, was a heroine that I could both relate to and sympathize with. The amount of pressure she is under is unbelievable. I loved seeing the process of her discovering her kingdom and learning what it took and how to be a queen.
I also just completely adored Saf. Saf reminded me a bit of a Peter Pan type of figure and I truly could not get enough of him. His entire personality and attitude made me just fall in love with him. From the very beginning, I loved seeing his reactions to Bitterblue and the things he discovered and was apart of. I also really liked that the relationship between him and Bitterblue wasn't the main focus. The romance was an element but it didn't overtake the entire story. Another character I really liked was Giddeon (Giddon?). He was a surprising character for me. I hadn't expected him to have as large of a part as he did and I definitely hadn't anticipated liking him as much as I did. I thought he was very sweet and I liked the way he and Bitterblue supported each other.
The plot, while slow at times, never dropped my interest. I enjoyed every moment while reading this, even though a lot of it was world building and descriptions. Normally, I enjoy more action but I didn't mind not having that as much in this one. Like I said before, it was really interesting to me to learn about the world that Bitterblue was in.
While Graceling will always be my favorite in this series, Bitterblue is a close second. It had everything I loved in a book: amazing characters, intricate and strong world building, and a plot that kept me engaged and interested. I'm so sad this series is over but I'm very happy with how it came to a close.